Aquatic Plant Forum banner
41 - 59 of 59 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,862 Posts
Ghazanfar's tank might show something that would be necessary for a Walstad iwagumi: sufficient plant mass.

I can't tell if the apparent slope of the "hill" in the design is rock, substrate, or dense plants. I suspect that at least part of it is dense plants. If the topography is created by dense, carefully trimmed plants growing up and around the stones, this would give the necessary amount of planting to make the method work. Larger amnounts of fast growing stem or floating plants might be necessary during establishment, but these could be removed for the final design.

Who wants to dedicate a tank to this challenge?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,116 Posts
Supposedly this is a low tech tank. It looks very vibrant. But the tips of the Java Fern show very big areas that are transparent. This happens only when the Java Fern grows extremely fast. And that happens only if there is a good amount of nutrients (especially P), strong light and CO2. I have never seen Java Fern grow such straight leaves without CO2

You be the judge, tank is gorgeous:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
I've always had great difficulty growing plants, despite having two years worth of "experience" with them. I definitely know the basics of keeping planted tanks and have spent countless hours reading about method vs method. The one I've grown to love the most are the El Natural/Low-Tech setups.

My choice of substrate has always driven me nuts... Eco-Complete vs AquaSoil, etc, etc. Ironically, the best substrate I've ever used was Organic Choice Miracle Gro (I think that's the name of it). Plant growth simply exploded in that tank in a short amount of time, maybe a couple months maximum. I used very little dosing and never did water changes.

The point of this post is to enforce the natural/low-tech methods. The best growth I've ever gotten did not come from artificial "soil", but by organic, natural potting soil.

Has anyone else had this same experience? If so, what did you use?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,116 Posts
The point of this post is to show that low tech tanks can be as beautiful as high tech. And if this enforces or makes the low tech approach more popular I'm all up for that. I just wrote about an interesting idea - that Amano's tanks are actually more low tech than high tech. Here:

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...-plant-club/79486-adas-low-tech-approach.html

My hope is that this hobby moves toward a more educated approach to running a planted tank. And there will be a lot of "looking back" to the low tech approach - just like Amano has done. The way we understand high tech in the US is very much denying how and why Nature does things the way it does them. We have vibrant, gorgeous looking tanks full of plants in amazing health but our high tech tanks are very unstable systems.

I hope that one day we come full circle and start creating both beautiful and stable aquascapes - again, just like Amano does. This thread I think leads to that eventual turn of events and to me it needs to be a sticky in the El Natural section of APC.

--Nikolay
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
The point of this post is to show that low tech tanks can be as beautiful as high tech.
By what measure? The Niko scale? IAPLC or AGA results? Amano, Knott, Senske, etc? Finding a handful of beautiful "low tech" (however defined) tanks doesn't speak to the other 99% which are... up for debate.

That said, I hope low light becomes the new low tech. Keep the high flow, 30+ppm CO2, and non-limiting ferts. Enjoy slow growth, less algae, and more room for error.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,116 Posts
At times I stand on a high soapbox and I speak as if I see the future. Then someone in the crowd... passes gas.

In Bulgaria we all have a peculiar habit to first say "no, it's not gonna work" to every new idea. In 2002 I said "no, it's not gonna work" to a friend of mine that described his idea of what is now known as iPad.

Here we discuss how to enhance the image of "low tech" tanks. "A long journey starts with a single small step" say the Japanese.

I think you need to move to Bulgaria, Ernie. You and I and 9 million other people will get along very well saying "no" to everything new we see.

... I hope low light becomes the new low tech.Keep the high flow, 30+ppm CO2, and non-limiting ferts. Enjoy slow growth, less algae, and more room for error.
Now, if you can get over my sarcasm,and explain how is low light, tons of ferts, way high CO2 and big flow going to make the perfect manageable planted tank. It appears that Amano could have taken a completely wrong approach to whatever he does.

And beaware - I'm Bulgarian.

--Nikolay
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,862 Posts
Funny, Niko, you are worrying about "low light, tons of ferts, way high CO2 and big flow". I am worrying that we are going to debate the nature of beauty--an argument that has been raging at least since 600 B.C. And that is only in the Western world!

Let us say that low-tech aquaria can be designed in any aquascaping style, and let beauty remain where it belongs: in the eye of the beholder.

Ernie, does "finding a handful of beautiful "low tech tanks doesn't speak to the other 99% which are... up for debate" mean that all high-tech tanks are up to the standards of Amano or Knott? On reflection, I think you will agree that the ratio of "beautiful" to "debatable" tanks is roughly the same for both high and low tech methods. Technology does not guarantee beauty.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,373 Posts
Funny, Niko, you are worrying about "low light, tons of ferts, way high CO2 and big flow". I am worrying that we are going to debate the nature of beauty--an argument that has been raging at least since 600 B.C. And that is only in the Western world!

Let us say that low-tech aquaria can be designed in any aquascaping style, and let beauty remain where it belongs: in the eye of the beholder.

Ernie, does "finding a handful of beautiful "low tech tanks doesn't speak to the other 99% which are... up for debate" mean that all high-tech tanks are up to the standards of Amano or Knott? On reflection, I think you will agree that the ratio of "beautiful" to "debatable" tanks is roughly the same for both high and low tech methods. Technology does not guarantee beauty.
Very well said! I agree technology doesn't guarantee beauty. It's more about discipline and creativity. I do think technology might give you a wider range of 'paints' to work with, but definitely not needed to create a work of art.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
Niko- Let it be known you are not going un-heard or misunderstood. I get your approach, I agree.

I also agree that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but sometimes peoples eyes don't work very well either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Now, if you can get over my sarcasm,and explain how is low light, tons of ferts, way high CO2 and big flow going to make the perfect manageable planted tank. It appears that Amano could have taken a completely wrong approach to whatever he does.
I'm not naysaying a new idea (FYI - In the US, we call those people "haters"). People have been growing plants in low tech aquariums since long before any of us were born. I'm asking why step backward instead of forward? We do need new ideas. Better canister filters, LED lighting, better ways to regulate CO2, lower touch way to add ferts. To me, this is the future of the hobby.

Better question - how would our perception of Amano be different had he stuck with low tech? Prior to his work (and many others) in pioneering what we consider modern methods of nutrient supplementation, aquascaping barely existed as we define it now. Keeping plants alive and fighting off algae seemed to be enough of a challenge up until the past 10-15 years.

Success can only be defined by a goal. If the goal is a beautiful display (loose APC standards - lush growth, no obvious deficiencies, minimal algae), I am of the opinion that skipping out on equipment often creates more issues than it solves. There's room for everyone on the spectrum, but saying low tech can be just as beautiful as high tech is an overstatement if we're speaking in generalities.

I understand the desire for simplicity as it's human nature. Our tolerance for the time and financial burden is cyclical, and eventually, we all look for ways to cut back on the imprint this hobby has on our lives. I just paid a boatload of money to have TPN+ shipped from the UK. Saves me all of 5 seconds, but everything in one bottle is so intrinsically appealing.

Ernie, does "finding a handful of beautiful "low tech tanks doesn't speak to the other 99% which are... up for debate" mean that all high-tech tanks are up to the standards of Amano or Knott? On reflection, I think you will agree that the ratio of "beautiful" to "debatable" tanks is roughly the same for both high and low tech methods. Technology does not guarantee beauty.
Can a low tech display be beautiful? Sure. I also know that many photographers can snap great photos using any decade old point and shoot, but that doesn't mean I'm trading in the DSLR. For me, it still provides the most effective path to reach my goal.

There are no absolutes in subjective judging, but try this - Find 50 or 100 photos of your all time favorite planted aquariums. Take the list and then tally up the ones that you consider to be low tech. For me, there are only a few.

When you consider that there are exponentially more low tech tanks out there than high tech ones but very few which catch our attention, how can you estimate equal ratios of hot/not?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,116 Posts
Amano maybe an undercover low-tech:
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...-plant-club/79486-adas-low-tech-approach.html

Low tech tank more beatuful than most of our tanks adorned with super nice equipment:

As usual - we can type many pretty little letters but at the end we will agree that ADA has figured it out a long time ago. And I think I see that what they do is as low tech as possible. With a glamour shine given by approaches that enhance the same old low-tech basics. Using methods/equipment that we see as "high tech", readily acquire originals or copies, and use the wrong way most of the time.

Glad to see this here Ernie as an intelligent and knowledgeable individual with a lot of perspective on things. The second person I met today on that site that has a deeper understanding of this hobby. For me this was a good day here on APC.

I think we will all agree - it does feel that today we made another little step in this long journey. And there is more to come - this other guy I mentioned will hopefully come up with a very interesting article about things we intuitively started to figure out lately. Things are getting interesting indeed.

This topic is starting to veer away from the original idea to be a showcase of low-tech aquascapes and changing the view of low-tech tanks as messy. Maybe we better keep this topic as originally intended so things are in order.

--Nikolay
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,180 Posts
This topic is starting to veer away from the original idea to be a showcase of low-tech aquascapes and changing the view of low-tech tanks as messy. --Nikolay
In that case here is my re-scaped office picotope. It's still low-tech, but I added a nano-filter with little sponge things for future bio-housing. The reason for the rescape is that I dropped this tank on the floor while trying to move it to another desk and do my job at the same time...wooops...

bP1010001.JPG

bP1010004.JPG

bP1010005.JPG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
This one was my second ever attempt at p[lanted tanks, and is also an example of Natural "method" using the El Natural to the fullest, with extremely limited water movement most of the time, and zero dosing of anything chemically, relying on the feedings to to the job. It took several months of green water and wondering why I ever set it up to begin with, but patience pad off once the system settled in, for after that this became a nearly zero-maintence, algae-free joy.

A moderate-to-heavy fish load with many other critters (worms, snails, whatever) helped each other to make it work. The tank started off weak, but came on strong once the plants got going. The substrate at 2 inch avg. depth proved almost too little for the nutrient hog lotus and swords, but kept them from out-competing the stem plants, which made the tank feel a bit more "scaped" to me. Overall my favorite tank as I had lots of options to play with, though I had to learn the hard way not to get carried away in moving plants around, and what lighting was too much vs not enough using T-5 HO.

View attachment 14653

View attachment 14654

View attachment 14655
@ mudboots: this is the best el natural aquascape i've seen :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Here is my ADA MINI-M that I started on 1/4/2012. No co2, some trace every now and then but only fish food for ferts really. Lights are 13w cfl. Can anyone critique my scape? I tried hard to stick with the golden ratio. Stem plants are ready for a trim , which I am doing soon. Thx for looking.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
My latest low-tech* scape. Main plants are Anubias 'nana' and 'coffeefolia' with Amazon sword, Crypt. spiralis and C. retrospiralis and a foreground of S. repens. Lighting was 4 x 39watt t-5HO (1.25 WPG)
Is this 1 of the tank without a filter? If not got a link to 1 without a filter?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,631 Posts
This was a good read (besides people arguing)
Inspired me to do a low tech, NPT.
 
41 - 59 of 59 Posts
Top